Juan Guaido, the president of the disempowered National Assembly took the oath of office as Interim President of Venezuela. Before the ceremony, Guaido claimed that 4 of the 23 Venezuelan states had joined the protests against the government.
"Barinas, Aragua, Bolivar and Nueva Esparta today have awakened in a single voice, rose and supported their legitimate National Assembly", he wrote on Twitter.
US President Donald Trump stated that Washington recognises Guaido as the legitimate head of the South American country.
"We continue to hold the illegitimate Maduro regime directly responsible for any threats it may pose to the safety of the Venezuelan people", Trump added.
🇻🇪 “Hoy 23 de enero de 2019 (…) juro asumir formalmente las competencias del Ejecutivo Nacional como presidente encargado de Venezuela”, Juan Guaidó se juramenta como presidente encargado del país. #23Ene #Venezuela pic.twitter.com/mNNchTwuWN— Gabriel G. Marquez (@G_GarciaMarquez) 23 января 2019 г.
Later, the US President told reporters at the White House when asked if he was considering sending the US military to the country, that all options were on the table for Venezuela, according to Reuters.
"We're not considering anything, but all options are on the table," Trump said.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Nicolas Maduro to step aside, also vowing to support the transitional government.
"The Venezuelan people have suffered long enough under Nicolas Maduro's disastrous dictatorship", Pompeo said. "We call on Maduro to step aside in favour of a legitimate leader reflecting the will of the Venezuelan people."
The chief of the Organisation of American States, which includes 35 countries from both North and South America, has also recognised Guaido as the Venezuelan president.
At the same time, Reuters reported that Ottawa would soon join the US and recognise Guaido as the president.
Hours later, Colombia's leader Duque also said that he recognizes Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate head, while Paraguay president Abdo said that he recognizes the Venezuelan opposition leader as the country's interim president.
Brazil's government later also recognized Guaidoas Venezuela's acting president.
The news comes amid protests against Maduro, which broke out across Venezuela late on Tuesday, with at least four people killed and dozens injured during the demonstrations.
Later on Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence told the Venezuelan people in a video message that the US government supports Guaido’s call for a transitional government.